Captive Genders reviews and Spring talks

Ca1wfemW4AAYyQuCheck out two new reviews of the second edition of Captive Genders. The first is O’Brien on Stanley and Smith, ‘Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex’ by Michelle E. O’Brien and the second is The Forgotten Ones: Queer and Trans Lives in the Prison System by Grace Dunham which appears in The New Yorker.

Chris Vargas and I will be screening Criminal Queers at the University of Chicago on Thursday, February 25, 2016, 7:00 PM at the Logan Center, Screening Room 201. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a conversation with Chris, Eric and Professor Lauren Berlant.

On April 9, 2016 I will be giving the keynote address for Queer Death, De(con)struction, and Contagion: Affective Rhythms in Interdisciplinary Studies the inaugural  Queer Studies Symposium at the University of California, Merced.

I will be joining Craig Willse for the plenary session of the DC Queer Studies symposium Queer Beyond Repair at the University of Maryland, College Park April 22, 2016.


Captive Genders, second edition

CG_ExpandedEdition2_web(2)We are so excited that AK Press will be publishing the second, revised, and expanded edition of Captive Genders in October 2015. Along with all the brilliance of the first edition, it will include a new foreword by abolitionist and trans revolutionary CeCe McDonald which explores the importance radical books like Captive Genders played for her during her incarceration. From her prison cell, Chelsea E. Manning wrote “On the Intersection of the Military and the Prison Industrial Complex,” which thinks about the relationship between and military and the prison system. TGIJP Executive Director Janetta Johnson and journalist Toshio Meronek wrote,Custody’s Long Shadow: Reentry Support as Abolitionist Work,” which argues that supporting people after they are released is vital to abolition. Radical Native transgender activist-scholar Kalaniopua Young wrote, “From a Native Trans Daughter: Carceral Refusal, Settler Colonialism, Re-routing the Roots of an Indigenous Abolitionist Imaginary,” which brings into focus the unsettled histories of colonialism, forced gender normativity, and prison.

The powerful analysis and compelling arguments in this collection force readers to conclude that the political and theoretical connection between prison abolition and trans and queer liberation is fundamental to social transformation and justice. –Beth E. Ritchie author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation

Captive Genders reminds and instructs that life is about relationships and desires free from neglect and repression, gendered constraints, policing and brutality, and disappearance. The anthology contributors share transformational insights, mini-memoirs, analyses and theories about captivity. Their writings lead and nurture us to a deeper understanding and struggle for justice with freedom and peace.  –Joy James, author of Seeking the Beloved Community

 Captive Genders is an essential book that brings home that trans and gender non-conforming lives are deeply structured by the prison, that violence can never be an antidote to violence, that abolition must extend to the gender binary, and that formerly incarcerated Black trans women will lead the way. –Jin Haritaworn, author of Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places

We will be doing a few book related events to celebrate the second edition. If you would like to help bring us to your city/town hit us up at

I was lucky to have been a part of two historic panels featuring the brilliance of CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, Janetta Johnson, and Miss Major. The audio link for the “Futures of Abolition” panel at the ONE Archive in LA is here, the video for the event at UCSD is here.

In other news,  Kameelah Janan Rasheed  recently interviewed me for a piece called The Carceral State which appeared in the California issue of The New Inquiry. Here we talk about prison abolition, Prop 47 and how prisons produce the fiction of binary genders.

lgbt_15th_posterChris Vargas and I will be in Chicago at UIC on Thursday October 17th for a screening of Criminal Queers. The event is at 6pm Gallery 400 Lecture Room 400 S. Peoria Street Chicago, IL. As always, the event is free and open to everyone.

On Tuesday November 4th I’ll be in conversation with CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, Janetta Johnson, for the event We Cannot Live Without Our Lives: A conversation on Anti-blackness, Trans Resistance and Prison Abolition” The event is from 7-9pm at UC San Diego Student Services Center Multipurpose Room. Criminal Queers_2-4

On Wendsday November 5th I’ll be part of “Futures of Abolition: Trans and Queer Resistance Against the Prison Industrial Complex”also with the amazing CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, Janetta Johnson. The evnt is free and open to the public and is at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives 909 West Adams Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90007